8 IKEA Hacks to Bring Your Furniture From Basic to Brilliant

Brace yourself—you'll be tempted to add each of these clever IKEA hacks to your list of weekend projects.
Text by

From affordable prices to sleek, Scandinavian-inspired designs, there's no shortage of reasons for IKEA's predominance in today's homes. While our familiarity with the furniture and home goods behemoth makes its products easy to spot, that's not the case with the pieces below. Not only have these eight items been totally reimagined, but they've also taken the IKEA hack to a whole new level. Scroll ahead to see more, but get ready—once you've snapped out of befuddlement, we have a hunch you'll be eager to hit up the closest store near you.

Cover photo courtesy of Bemz Design

1. A Glossy, Moveable Bar Cart

IKEA's utility cart—the Raskog cart—can easily be transformed into a refined, transportable bar cart. Since it already has wheels, it just needs some stemware, a wine rack, and other accoutrements, and it will be ripe for entertaining. 

Jules from IKEA Hackers explains how this classic Expedit upright bookcase can be quickly converted into a modern sideboard thanks to the addition of stained plywood, new legs, and a vision to orient it horizontally instead of vertically.

Bethany from Dwellings by Devore shows how an all-white, flower-inspired pendant lamp—the IKEA Maskros light—can be transformed into a sleek, Sputnik-like chandelier. Gold spray paint, gold vinyl, and clear plastic cups are the key ingredients in this alteration.

In this IKEA hack, blogger Sarah Sherman Samuel explains how the Tarva dresser is given an elegant facelift with just a few simple moves. The original straight legs of the dresser have been trimmed for an angled profile to give it more personality, as well as a couple of coats of fresh, light green paint. After removing the original wooden knobs, new hardware has been added to complete the refinished look.

Functional, colorful, and minimal design—that's what you get when several of IKEA's Ekby Tygvve Mensola wooden shelves are held up by IKEA's versatile Cekby Tore brackets. The team behind Teste de Legno shows how the entire shelf sits on caster wheels, allowing the unit to be easily moved.

Expect the unexpected with this magazine rack-turned-coffee table. Here, Kennth Yeoh pinwheels four of IKEA's Knuff Magazine Files around each other to create a sculptural tabletop that is attached to a rotating artist stool. The result is a piece that is functional, full of storage, and intriguing in form.

We all know IKEA is known for its basic pieces, in particular the Besta bookshelves. Yet, even their door and drawer options don't fulfill all design visions. By installing plastic rails at the top and bottom of one of the shelves, and covering the fiberboard panels with wood-grained contact paper, along with adding four metal legs, the team behind Petite Apartment has transformed this item into a brilliant design.

Although it's typically hidden under a mattress to provide support, the Ich Designer has instead used the IKEA slatted Sultan Lade as an item for display. The Sultan Lade is hung from the wall off two sturdy hooks, making the slats multi-functional. From lamps and books, to storage baskets and knickknacks, this product now can hold a variety of items.


Last Updated



Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.